Monday, October 26, 2015

Cool weather means the beginning of occasional invaders - By Ronald Keeler

 It’s finally here! The time of year we both love and hate. It signals the end of the warmth of summer and the beginning of the slow decline to the cold of winter. It also starts the beginning of the invasion of what is called occasional invaders. These are the insects that make their way in to your home to escape the cold weather. 

Some of these insects are spiders, cluster flies, lady bugs, western conifer seed bugs and crickets. Although these insects don’t do any damage some of them can invade in very large numbers. In some homes I have seen hundreds of these insects emerge on a warm sunny day in the middle of the winter. Mother Nature has tricked them into believing that springtime has begun so out they come. If you do experience this you don’t want to start spraying pesticides. You can put yourself in harm’s way and in the case of lady bugs put them into distress and cause them to leave a defecation trail on your wall as they wander off to die. Simply vacuum them up instead. 

There are some things you can do to lessen or eliminate this invasion. Sealing up any cracks or holes is a must. Use a quality caulking or for bigger spaces, foam. Check for old holes left open from the removal of wires or pipes. Sometimes you need to get dirty and check where your house sits on the foundation as things have settled and spaces have opened over time. Check your attic vents as the insect screening can deteriate or get ripped and allow easy access. 

One of the biggest entry points is doors and windows. Make sure your door weather stripping is in good repair and replace it if not. This will also save you some money on heat. As to windows you can’t really seal them up, but I have come up with an easy fix for these invaders. Once things have cooled off enough which is usually the middle of November, take your vacuum and open a window and suck up the insects on all the exposed surfaces both top and bottom of the window halves. That way there are no insects to come in on those warm winter days. 

If you do experience an invasion look at the positive side, winter is probably halfway over and we are closer to those warm days of spring.

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